Wednesday, January 17, 2018


1703/05 lost masterpiece by Alessandro Specchi (1668/1729) built for Clement XI Albani (1700/21)
It was obviously inspirational for Francesco De Sanctis when he conceived the Spanish Steps built in the years 1723/26
During the construction there was an earthquake in Rome which brought down two arches of the second tier of the Colosseum and the fallen blocks were used by Alessandro Specchi as building material for the port
It was unfortunately destroyed at the end of the nineteenth century to build the embankments of the River Tiber
The only remnants are the Fontana dei Navigatori (Fountain of the Navigators) and the two columns that used to adorn the staircase
“In the relatively stagnant climate at the opening of the century Specchi offers a proposal polemic, on one hand, against the official classicism - to which he opposes a revival of Borromini modules - and emblematic, on the other, of the new age for its character of friendly insert in the urban landscape. He solves brilliantly the problem of the connection between the beach and an architectural background not at all uniform: he identifies the major axis in line with the modest façade of the church of St. Jerome, and he engages on it a cylindrical wall which join two flights of descending stairs. Along these there are two extensive sets of stairs, two concave ramps to accommodate those coming from the river. The waving movement of Borromini façades is here transposed on an urban scale to get a perfect interpenetration between architecture and nature, between city and river” (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
“Specchi has crucial importance as the first symptom of the revival of dramatic creative ambitions that characterizes the second and third decades of the century. In his dynamic and open composition there is a bold critique of the eclectic caution of his master Carlo Fontana and a protest against the waste of potential for development implicit in Borromini's inheritance, which in other parts of Europe had otherwise found fertile ground. The composition is related to the one, perhaps suggested by Bernini himself, for the Spanish Steps (...), but in its rigorous research for a plastic or linear continuity reveals a penetrating reading of the last experiences of Borromini, especially the façade of San Carlino. (...) The density of rhythm of Alessandro Specchi was unknown to the more relaxed phrasing of the previous century” (Paolo Portoghesi)


It stood on the right side going north of the ancient Via Lata (now Via del Corso) immediately south of the arches of the Aqua Virgo, in the area where the Galleria Sciarra is today
It was designed by Agrippa, begun by his sister Vipsania Polla, after whom it was named and finished by Augustus (27 BC/14 AD)
Agrippa had a great map of the empire (orbis pictus) exhibited in the building
It was adjacent to the CATABULUM (in the area where now is the church of S. Marcello) headquarters of the organization of public transport
It was maybe the CENTRAL OFFICE OF THE CURSUS PUBLICUS or the Imperial Post, which was used to cover in emergency up to 250 km (155 miles) per day (the normal average was 40 km - 25 miles - per day) using the stations for the exchange horses placed along the Roman roads
It is estimated that the Roman road network covered, in its entirety, about 80,000 km (50,000 miles), equivalent to about twice the circumference of the Earth

Monday, January 15, 2018


Arcaded square of 150 x 115 m (492 x 377 feet) probably built under Domitian (81/96) for the free distribution of grain to the people of Rome in an area previously occupied by the Villa Publica
“It was not till the year 123 BC, that the first legal provision was made for supplying the poor at Rome with corn at a price much below its market value. In that year C. Sempronius Gracchus brought forward the first Lex Frumentaria, by which each citizen was entitled to receive every month a certain quantity of wheat (triticum) at the price of 6 ⅓ asses for the modius, which was equal to 1 gallon and nearly 8 pints English (8.2 liters). (...) This was only a trifle more than half the market price (...). It must not be supposed that each person was allowed to receive as much as he pleased every month; the quantity must of course have been fixed, and was probably five modii monthly, as in later times. This quantity was only given to fathers of families; but it was not confined to the poor, as Plutarch would imply, for every citizen had a right to it, whether he were rich or poor (...); and even Piso, who had been consul, applied for his share at the distribution. It appears, however, from the anecdote which Cicero relates about Piso, that each citizen had to apply in person, a regulation which would of itself deter most of the rich” (William Smith)
The square included a preexisting TEMPLE OF THE REPUBLICAN PERIOD discovered in 1938, probably the Temple of the Nymphs, of which there are two columns of stuccoed lava stone and the brick wall of the cella that belongs to a restoration of the time of Domitian (81/96) after the fire of the year 80 AD

Sunday, January 14, 2018


It was a reconstruction of the preexisting Portico of Metellus inaugurated maybe in 131 BC, which Quintus Caecilius Metellus Macedonian had begun to build in 146 BC after returning from the victories against Andrisco that had won Rome the subjugation of Macedonia
It included on the left the TEMPLE OF JUNO REGINA (prostyle hexastyle), dedicated in 179 BC by the censor Lepidus
On the right there was TEMPLE OF JUPITER STATOR (peripteral hexastyle without postico, i.e. without columns on the back) the first of Rome to be built entirely in marble, work of the Greek Hermodoros of Salamis
The statues of the two gods were made by the Greek sculptors Polycles and Dionysios
After the reconstruction in the years 33/23 BC at the behest of Augustus (27 BC/14) the portico was dedicated by him to his sister Octavia and that's when it took the name of PORTICO OF OCTAVIA
It was restored in 203 AD by Septimius Severus (193/211) and by his son Caracalla (211/217), phase to which date back most of the current remains
It must have been a grand building (about 119 m - 390 feet - wide by about 132 m - 433 feet - deep) facing the Circus Flaminius and perhaps constituting a single unit with the adjacent Portico of Philip
It had a DOUBLE PORTICO on the sides and a simple FRONT PORCH with a protruding propylaeum which emphasized the entrance
Inside, in addition to the two temples, there were TWO LIBRARIES, one Greek and one Latin, and the large hall with apse CURIAE OCTAVIAE located at the back to the temples
Among the statues that adorned it:
Bronze equestrian group of thirty-four statues of Lysippus representatives of Alexander the Great and his officers who died in the battle of the Granicus River (it was located in front of the temples, between them and the Propylaea)
Bronze statue of Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi brothers, the first statue of a woman to be exhibited in public in Rome (about 100 BC), whose base is in the Capitoline Museums
Nearby (scholars do not know where exactly) was the PORTICO OF OCTAVIUS (in Latin Porticus Octavia) not to be confused with the Portico of Octavia, built in 168 BC by the orders of the consul Gnaeus Octavius
In the ruins of the portico eventually the church of S. ANGELO IN PESCHERIA was built

Friday, January 12, 2018


Gate of the Leonine Walls built at the half of the ninth century, known as SAXONUM GATE for the settlement of the Saxons, the English of Wessex, the South West of England, in this area since the beginning of the eighth century
The current gate was begun in 1543 by Antonio Cordini aka Antonio da Sangallo the Younger (1483/1546) for Paul III (1534/49), discontinued the following year due to a quarrel with Michelangelo Buonarroti on the design of fortifications and left unfinished
The CONCAVE FAÇADE is an interesting incunabulum of Baroque curves that would appear almost a century later


1644 Marcantonio de Rossi (about 1607/61) military architect, father of the architect, Bernini's assistant, Mattia De Rossi, on the site of the ancient Porta Aurelia inserted in the circle of the Aurelian Walls
It is part of the Gianicolensi Walls built in the years 1642/44 for Urban VIII Barberini (1623/44) and Innocent X (1644/55)
It was destroyed by the French bombardment of 1849 and rebuilt in 1854/57 by Virginio Vespignani (1808/82) for Pius IX-Mastai Ferretti (1646/78)
It encloses a water tank in the upper part
Inside there is the small 
Museum of the Roman Republic and of Garibaldi's Legacy
It is an educational museum concerning the events of 1849 when it was proclaimed the Roman Republic that overthrew Pope Pius IX and was ruled by a triumvirate with Giuseppe Mazzini, Carlo Armellini and Aurelio Saffi
The Roman Republic fell following the siege of Rome by the French troops of General Oudinot, which began on June 3 and ended on July 2. Here was its main front culminated in the bloody battle of June 30
The museum was renovated in 2011 to mark the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy with busts, paintings, engravings, models, memorabilia of Garibaldi and educational material divided into six sections distributed over four floors of the building:
1) Riots in 1948. The years 1848/49
2) The reform policy of Pius IX
3) Rome; Republic; come! The birth of the Republic
4) Twenty-year old heroes. The young defenders of the Republic
5) The days of the siege
6) The Constitution of the Roman Republic

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


1561/65 by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) for Pius IV Medici (1559/65), after the ancient NOMENTANA GATE of the Aurelian Walls at 75 m (246 feet) away, under which passed the ancient VIA NOMENTANA, had been walled up
Completed after Michelangelo's death by his followers Matteo Bartolani da Città di Castello (about 1527/about 1598) and Jacopo Del Duca (about 1520/1604)
“Coat of arms of Pius IV Medici” by Jacopo Del Duca with “Angels” by Nardo De Rossi, restored by Virginio Vespignani (1808/82)
The tools for barbers stylized in the decoration probably recall the profession of the Milanese family of Pius IV, namesake of the Florentine bankers
The marble was taken from the revetment of the Torre dei Conti, which in turn was taken from the Imperial Fora 
“Compared to the shrine of the Medici Chapel dating back some 40 years earlier, Michelangelo's forms have become even more complex, such as, for example, inserting a curved broken pediment in a triangular uninterrupted pediment. At the same time he shows great interest for the contrasts of texture in the composition, expressed in the smooth wall surfaces of the central part and the rough masonry of the side spans. The inventiveness he shows with the blind windows would be taken up and further developed by the seventeenth-century architects, such as Bernini and Borromini, who will owe a lot to the Roman works of Michelangelo” (Peter Murray)
1853/69 Virginio Vespignani (1808/82) who apparently was inspired by an engraving of 1568 that had to be close enough to the original plan by Michelangelo
In the niches “Statues of Sts. Agnes and Alexander” by Francesco Amadori (active in Rome 1836/67), placed by Vespignani at the will of Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78) who wanted to remember the danger caused by the collapse of the roof's courtroom in the complex of St. Agnes, when he had visited it in 1855
The statues were damaged by shelling in 1870 and relocated here in 1929
During the skirmish on September 20, 1870 49 Italian Bersaglieri and 19 Papal soldiers were killed
In the rooms formerly used as Customs House there is the small
Historical Museum of the Bersaglieri
The Bersaglieri are a specialty corps of the Italian Army Infantry, famous for the plumed hat and to be the only military force in the world that in parades performs running and playing the trumpet
The corps was established in 1836 by Carlo Alberto of Savoy on the proposal of captain Alessandro La Marmora
The museum is currently closed for restoration
Busts of the most distinguished representatives of the Bersaglieri Corps including the “Bust of Enrico Toti (1882/1916)”, a young Roman invalid (he had a leg amputated at the pelvis) who, despite his disability, volunteered for the First World War and was killed after he hurled his crutch against the enemy
“Bust of Alessandro La Marmora” founder of the Bersaglieri Corps and two rifles that he himself had invented
Various relics including the “Original Proposition” written by La Marmora himself to get from King Carlo Alberto the establishment of the corps
Dedicated to the more than 100,000 dead of the Bersaglieri
Saber of Alessandro La Marmora and his portrait
Memorabilia, documents and memories of the campaigns of the Risorgimento from 1848 to 1866
Memorabilia relating to the colonial campaigns
Memorabilia relating to the First World War, including the gun that killed at 16 hours on November 4, 1918 at Quadrivio di Paradiso (Crossroads of Heaven), the nineteen year old lieutenant Alberto Riva di Villasanta and his riflemen, the last men to die in the war
Memorabilia relating to World War II
The museum also houses a HISTORICAL archive and a LIBRARY with material regarding, of course, the Bersaglieri Corps


The original name of this gate of the Aurelian Walls was Porta Flaminia
In the tenth century it was known as Porta di S. Valentino as the Via Flaminia passing under it leads in about 1.5 km (0.9 miles) to the Catacomb of S. Valentino venerated for centuries by pilgrims
It was called Porta del Popolo probably for the nearby church of S. Maria del Popolo built in 1099 by Pasquale II Raniero Blera (1099/1118) with a more or less voluntary subscription of the Roman people
The gate is now about 1.5 m (5 feet) above the ancient level of Rome
It was rebuilt in 1561/62 by Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68) to whom the work was subcontracted by Michelangelo Buonarroti, who had been assigned the job by Pius IV Medici (1559/65)
Four of the six columns were taken from the ancient Basilica of St. Peter
The original towers with circular bases were replaced by two massive square watchtowers and the whole building was equipped with battlements
In 1658 between the two pairs of columns were inserted by the will of Alexander VII Chigi (1655/67) the statues of “St. Peter” and “St. Paul” about 1639/52 by Francesco Mochi (1580/1654)
They had been originally made for the Basilica of St. Paul but they were refused. Since 1980 there are copies and the originals are in the Museum of Rome at Palazzo Braschi
1655 by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680) for Alexander VII on the occasion of the arrival in Rome of Queen Christina of Sweden celebrated in the inscription
The side arches were opened only in 1887
Near the door was found a “Measuring Stone for Customs” dating back to 175 AD, a type of measurement also found by other gates

Monday, January 8, 2018


Completed in 1911 for the fiftieth anniversary of the unification of Italy, even though the project by Ennio De Rossi dates to 1886
It is 108.75 m (357 feet) long
FOUR BRONZE WINGED VICTORIES with in their hands objects of explicit symbolism:
Works of Elmo Palazzi (1871/1915), Luigi Casadio, Amleto Cataldi (1882/1930) e Francesco Pifferetti
FOUR SCULPTURAL GROUPS in travertine limestone:
From Corso Vittorio Emanuele II on the upstream side:
“Loyalty to the Statute. Following Novara, 1849” with flame of freedom by Giuseppe Romagnoli (1872/1966)
“The military bravery” by the Florentine Italo Griselli (1880/1958)
From Corso Vittorio Emanuele II on the downstream side:
The sculptures were placed on the bridge in 1912 and so the bridge had two inaugurations. The president of the jury was the sculptor Ettore Ferrari
It is interesting to note that the flame of freedom in the group of Fidelity to the Statute is protected with hands from the winds blowing from the direction of the Vatican, a clear anticlerical message
Another anti-clerical message is embodied by the Winged Victory closer to the Vatican that is confronting it with not so friendly an attitude
During dry periods of the river one can see, just below the downstream side of the bridge, the ancient ruins of NERO’S BRIDGE or TRIONFALE BRIDGE


1885/95 Angelo Vescovali (1826/95) head of the municipal hydraulic office who, besides this, designed four other bridges in the center of Rome (Garibaldi, Cavour, Regina Margherita and Palatino)
It is 105.65 m (346 feet) long
The work lasted ten years as a result of the works for the construction of the embankments of the Tiber River that left no space for the bridge's construction site


1937/48 designed and begun by Cesare Pascoletti (1898/1986), a student of Marcello Piacentini
It was completed by the engineer Bastianelli and the engineer and mathematician from Trieste Giulio Krall (1901/71)
It is 121.90 m (400 feet) long
It should have been called Bridge of Africa and it would have to connect the continuation of Viale Aventino with Trastevere Station, after the planned demolition of the Slaughterhouse
In 1949, the year after the inauguration, metal bars were added into the openings of the railings to prevent children from sneaking through and falling into the river

Saturday, January 6, 2018


1914/19 project by Marcello Piacentini (1881/1960) executed by the Allegri firm
It is also known as NEW SUBLICIUS BRIDGE
It is 105.55 m (346 feet) long
The original bridge, OLD SUBLICIUS BRIDGE, which used to stand further north, in correspondence with today's Via del Porto was, according to tradition, the first bridge in Rome
Some sacred and archaic ceremonies used to take place there, including the launch in the river of straw dolls, images of the Argei, princes who, according to Varro had come to Rome in the wake of Hercules and had settled on the Capitoline Hill
This ritual was done perhaps to replace some ancient human sacrifices and used to take place in May during the festival of Lemuria, which were celebrated for exorcising the spirits of the dead, the Lemuri
It was called Sublicius Bridge for the sublicae, wooden planks, of which it was made, stabilized by nails of bronze. Horatius Cocles, according to legend, in 507 BC stopped here the Etruscans and the Romans cut the bridge behind him


Part of an arch is ancient: maybe part of the Bridge of Agrippa, built before 12 BC, or of the AURELIUS or “ANTONINUS” BRIDGE built in 147 AD for Antoninus Pius (138/161) or Caracalla (211/217), who was actually called Marco Aurelius Antoninus
It was restored in the years 366/367 by the prefect Lucius Aurelius Avianus Symmachus under Valentinian (364/375 with Valens and Gratian) and called the Bridge of Valentinian until 589 when a flood of the River Tiber destroyed it
Since then it was called tremulous BRIDGE, BROKEN BRIDGE or GIANICOLENSE BRIDGE
It was rebuilt in 1473/75 maybe by Baccio Pontelli (about 1450/92) for Sixtus IV Della Rovere (1471/84). He incorporated the ruins of the ancient bridge in the new construction and used materials taken from the Colosseum
The bridge was financed with money from the taxes levied on the “public whores” or prostitutes under the control of the church
One of the pillars was restored in 1567 by Matteo Bartolani da Città di Castello (about 1527/about 1598) for Pius IV Medici (1559/65)
In 1998 the parapets were rebuilt according to the original design and the damaged metal walkways added in 1877 were removed
It is 108 m (354 feet) long and 11 m (36 feet) wide
It seems that Sixtus IV had decided to build the bridge because when he was still a cardinal he had lived in the Convent of S. Salvatore in Onda in Via dei Pettinari and so he knew well how the construction of the new bridge would have facilitated communications in this area of ​​Rome
It is the only bridge in Rome constructed between antiquity and the nineteenth century

Thursday, January 4, 2018


Built in the years 133/134 as Pons Aelius for Hadrian (117/138) maybe by Demetrianus
Built in peperino tuff and covered with travertine marble
Originally it had three arches and it was connected with ramps to the banks
The ramps were in turn supported by three smaller arches on the left side and two on the right bank, toward the mausoleum of Hadrian, which were partially destroyed and partially buried in 1893 during the construction of the embankments and replaced by two modern arches
It is 130 m (426 feet) long and 9 m (30 feet) wide
In 1534 Clement VII Medici (1523/34) wanted to add the statues of “St. Peter” by Lorenzo Lotti aka Lorenzetto (1490/1541) on the left and “St. Paul” 1463/64 by Paolo Taccone aka Paolo Romano (about 1415/77) on the right, moved here from the loggia of the blessings of the ancient Basilica of St. Peter
The area in front of the bridge in Piazza Sant'Angelo was one of those destined for public executions by beheading
Paul III Farnese (1534/49) wanted to outline the SMALL TRIDENT consisting of the current Via Paola, Via del Banco di Santo Spirito and Via di Panico
In the years 1668/71 Clement IX Rospigliosi (1667/69) ordered the construction of a new parapet, designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598/1680), who wanted the iron gratings to allow the view of the water, element of inspiration for many works of Bernini
Above the parapet were placed ten statues of angels with the instruments of the Passion of Christ, sculpted by Bernini's followers under his direction
From the South End:
“Column” by Ercole Antonio Raggi (1624/86)
“Flagella” by Lazzaro Morelli (1608/90)
“Crown of Thorns”: the original sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his son Paolo was never put in place and was moved in 1729 in the church of S. Andrea delle Fratte
The sculpture on the bridge is a copy by Pietro Paolo Naldini (1619/91)
The two angels sculpted by Bernini (this and the one with the Titulus Crucis) were donated to S. Andrea delle Fratte by Prospero Bernini, grandson of the master, who bought them from the heirs of Pope Clement IX who had replaced them with copies on Ponte Sant'Angelo, not to save them from the elements, as it is commonly said, but to have them shipped to Pistoia, his hometown
“Shroud or Holy Face” by Cosimo Fancelli (1620/88). The base of the inscription was hit by a cannon ball during the fall of Rome in 1870
“This angel shows in his quite voluptuous forms and in the type of head how much Fancelli owed to Cortona, while at the same time, he was quoting the current Bernini style. Unequal in his works he often tried to combine the styles of Cortona and Bernini with an emphatic simplicity of form which he shared with Ferrata, his collaborator on more than one occasion. Therefore it is often difficult to make a distinction between their works” (Rudolf Wittkower)
“Robe and Dice” by Pietro Paolo Naldini
“Nails” by Girolamo Lucenti (?/1698)
“Cross” by Ercole Ferrata (1610/86)
“Well inserted within the commissions of the Roman art scene, Ferrata worked a lot for Bernini, but also for Pietro Berrettini or for Rainaldi. Perhaps conscious of his difficulty with 'inventions', he often preferred, especially in the beginning, to execute works from designs of others and also he frequently used graphic ideas of his pupils” (Gerardo Casale - Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani Treccani)
“Titulus Crucis with INRI inscription” the original sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini and his son Paolo was never put in place and was moved in 1729 in the church of S. Andrea delle Fratte
The angel on the bridge is a copy of Bernini himself, done with the help of Giulio Cartari (active 1665/78)
“The drapery of Bernini angels expresses an abstract comment on the emotional state of mourning of the angels themselves. During these years increasingly Bernini relied upon the drapery as agents of his feelings. Instead of being a simple cover made of cotton or linen, drapery becomes a chiaroscuro repetition related to a highly loaded inner feeling, the expression of which apparently exceeds the expressive potential power of faces and bodies” (Howard Hibbard)
“Sponge” by Antonio Giorgetti (active since 1660/d. 1669)
“Spear” by Domenico Guidi (1625/1701)
“Going back for a moment from these statues to the ones placed forty years before under the dome of St. Peter's, we realize that, unlike the previous works highly personal and subjective, here we are dealing with products of followers among whom Bernini looks like a solitary giant. His intense baroque not only had a leveling influence on most of these masters of the younger generation, but also reduced their ability of self-expression, and perhaps even their desire to reach it” (Rudolf Wittkower)


Built in the Republican period so that the VIA SALARIA could pass the ANIENE RIVER
The original bridge was constructed by the Etruscans who used the Via Salaria to take salt from the salt marshes near the mouth of the Tiber to the Sabina region
It was destroyed and rebuilt several times
The MODERN PONTE SALARIO was built in 1870 with an expansion in 1930
The structure of the end of the second/first half of the century BC there are only two minor arches incorporated into the modern bridge. They are in cement with shards of tuff, while the outer blocks are made of tuff stone from Fidene

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


It's the ancient Pons Aemilius, the first of Rome to be constructed in stone, erected in two phases:
1) 181/179 BC by Marcus Emilius Lepidus and Marcus Fulvius Nobilior who erected pillars supporting a wooden walkway
2) 142 BC by Publius Scipio and Lucius Mummius who replaced the wooden walkway with arches
It was repeatedly destroyed by the floods of the Tiber and repeatedly rebuilt
It took the name of PONTE S. MARIA (St. Mary's Bridge) e di PONTE SENATORIO (Bridge of the Senate)
Various architects tried to rebuild it including Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475/1564) in the years 1548/50
He had not rebuilt it yet when in 1551 the new Pope Julius III Ciocchi del Monte (1550/55) pulled off the task to be given to Giovanni Lippi aka Nanni di Baccio Bigio (about 1513/68) who completed the bridge in 1552
Michelangelo didn't value Nanni di Baccio Bigio at all and frowned. One day he passed in a carriage on the bridge and turned to Giorgio Vasari, who accompanied him, and said: “George, this bridge trembles beneath; urge the ride so that does not ruin while we are on it”
Indeed, the bridge did not last long: in 1557 the Tiber River destroyed it
In the years 1573/75 the bridge was rebuilt again by Matteo Bartolani da Città di Castello (about 1527/about 1598) for Gregory XIII Boncompagni (1572/85) who wanted it ready for the Holy Year of 1575
The papal coat of arms of Gregory XIII is still present on the bridge
It was finally destroyed during the flood of the Tiber in 1598, the largest ever recorded. It is estimated that at that time the river flow reached about 4000 m³/s, compared with a normal flow of about 240 m³/s


1886/91 Angelo Vescovali (1826/95)
It is 103.10 m long (338 feet)
It connected the then new Prati District, still under construction at the time, with the center of Rome
The bridge had many stability issues with various adjustments but it is now very solid
In PIAZZA DELLA LIBERTÀ (Liberty Square), just a few years earlier connected to the center of Rome with the bridge, the SOCIETÀ SPORTIVA LAZIO was born on January 9, 1900
It is the largest sports club in Europe and boasts a football section team that was the first ever to play football in Rome

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


1939/42 by the Stoelker Firm
It is 109.70 m long (360 feet)
It was built together with the nearby GALLERY PRINCE AMEDEO SAVOY AOSTA
It replaced the PONTE DEI FIORENTINI (Bridge of the Florentines) that connected the banks of the Tiber a little to the south from 1861 to 1941
It was only for pedestrians and could be passed with the toll of a “soldo”, a small coin


1974 Silvano Zorzi (1921/94) who executed a 1965 project by Luigi Moretti (1907/73)
It was opened only in 1980 when the Line A of the Rome Metro was completed
It is 121,60 m (399 feet) long
It is also known as PONTE DELLA METROPOLITANA (Metro Bridge)
“In the sixties Silvano Zorzi is among the first in Italy to deal with the design of bridges and viaducts in the system of the overhang structures (horizontal beams firmly connected to one end only). In industrial manufacturing, in marine and ground installations he researches typological solutions through the design of industrially produced building components. His whole production moves from the knowledge that the engineering artifacts are permanent architectures of the landscape and then he looks for the structural lightness, constructive and figurative” (G.L. Ciagà - Gli archivi di architettura in Lombardia. Censimento delle fonti)

Monday, January 1, 2018


1886/90 Angelo Vescovali (1826/95)
Measuring 155 m (508.5 feet), it is the longest bridge in Rome
In order to build it two arches of the Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge) were torn down
It is also known as the English Bridge for the traffic on the left
Many accidents have occurred on the bridge, some of them fatal, so as to give it the reputation of cursed bridge
Near the end of the right is the outlet of the CLOACA MAXIMA the ancient sewer coming from the area of ​the Forum of Nerva dating back to the sixth century BC
Originally the pipe ran in the open. Between the second and first century BC a vault in tuff stone was built in, buried in various points in restorations with concrete or brickwork


Built in the Republican period so that the VIA NOMENTANA could pass the ANIENE RIVER
It was destroyed by the Goths of Totila in the year 549
Rebuilt by the Byzantine general Narses in 552
The current upper part dates back to that time, while the central arch is of the first century AD
It was fortified under Pope Adrian I (772/795)
Restored under Nicholas V Parentucelli (1447/51) and also under Innocent X Pamphilj (1644/55)
After being damaged in 1849 by the French army it was again restored
Now it is inserted in a PUBLIC PARK and the stretch of Via Nomentana to which it belongs has been closed to traffic

Saturday, December 30, 2017


109 BC for the censor Marcus Aemilius Scaurus who wanted to replace a wooden bridge that had been built at the end of the third century BC
It was originally called Mulvius and the name was corrupted in the Middle Ages to MOLLE (soft)
There are only few traces of the original bridge left in the two arches closer to the left bank
Near the bridge took place on October 28, 312 AD the famous BATTLE OF THE MILVIAN BRIDGE between the pretenders to the Roman imperial throne Constantine (306/337) and Maxentius (306/312), after which the Christian religion was legalized by Constantine who had won
Present bridge arranged in 1805 by Giuseppe Valadier (1762/1839) for the return to Rome of Pius VII Chiaramonti (1800/23)
Pius VII in 1804 had crowned Napoleon Emperor in Paris. He was arrested in the Quirinal Palace in 1809 and taken to France. He returned to Rome again in 1814 when he reestablished the order of the Jesuits in the world
One of the arches of the bridge was blown up by supporters of Garibaldi in 1849 to try to delay the entry of the French army
Restored in 1850 and in 1871 by Francesco Azzurri (1831/1901) for Pius IX Mastai-Ferretti (1846/78)
Statues on the southern end:
On the left “St. John of Nepomuk” protector of the dangers of drowning by Agostino Cornacchini 1731 (1683/1740)
On the right “Immaculate” 1840 by Domenico Piggiani
St. John of Nepomuk was a Bohemian priest who in 1393 in Prague was tortured, throwed off a bridge and drowned by order of King Wenceslaus of Bohemia
He was the confessor of the queen and it seems that he had refused to reveal the secrets that she had confessed. He was canonized in 1729 and is the patron saint of the dangers of drowning
Statues on the northern end:
Group of two statues “St. John the Baptist baptizing Jesus” 1633/44 by Francesco Mochi (1580/1654)
It was originally carved for S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini but it was never placed there and was moved here instead. It was moved again in 1956 to the Museo di Roma at Palazzo Braschi and replaced with a copy
After the success of the 2006 book for teens Ho voglia di te (I want you) written by Federico Moccia and the eponymous film of 2007 it became customary for young lovers to put a pad lock on the lampposts of the bridge and throw the keys into the Tiber in imitation of a scene from the movie
In July 2007, after the collapse of the lamps due to the excessive weight given the enormous quantity of padlocks, the municipality of Rome has installed some pillars adjacent to each lamp to which some chains for the padlocks have been attached, safeguarding the integrity of the street lamps
In 2012, in preparation for a celebration on the anniversary of the Battle of the Milvian Bridge the municipality of Rome decided to remove the padlocks and set up a garrison of guards against the lovers with padlocks
Love however won again and many young lovers managed to circumvent the defense and fix their padlocks all the same